Lung cancer is an increasing problem in the older patient population due to the improvement in life expectation of the Western population. In this study we examine trends in lung cancer incidence and mortality in Denmark from 1980 to 2012 with special focus on the elderly.
Lung cancer was defined as ICD-10 codes C33-34. Data derived from the NORDCAN database with comparable data on cancer incidence, mortality, prevalence, and relative survival in the Nordic countries, where the Danish data were delivered from the Danish Cancer Registry and the Danish Cause of Death Registry with follow-up for death or emigration until the end of 2013.
In 2012, about 50% of lung cancers were diagnosed among persons aged 70 years or more. For men and women older than 75 years the incidence rates have been increasing and for those aged 80-84 years, the rates have doubled since 1980. Due to the poor survival, similar trends were seen in mortality rates. Over the period, the one-year relative survival rates almost doubled in patients aged 70 years or more, but still only 25% of the patients aged 80-89 years survived their lung cancer for one year.
The incidence of lung cancer is closely linked to the pattern of tobacco smoking with the differences between gender and age groups reflecting smoking behavior in birth cohorts. Elderly patients with lung cancer are a heterogeneous group in whom treatment should be offered according to comorbidity and a geriatric assessment.
Upper gastro-intestinal cancer (UGIC) includes malignancies in esophagus, stomach and small intestine, and represents some of the most frequent malignancies worldwide. The aim of the present analysis was to describe incidence, mortality and survival in UGIC patients in Denmark from 1980 to 2012 according to differences in age and time periods.
UGIC was defined as ICD-10 codes C15-C17. Data derived from the NORDCAN database with comparable data on cancer incidence mortality, prevalence and relative survival in the Nordic countries, where the Danish data were delivered from the Danish Cancer Registry and the Danish Cause of Death Registry with follow-up for death or emigration until the end of 2013.
The proportion of male patients over the age of 70 years diagnosed with esophageal cancer was constant over time (around 42%) but increased in females to 49% in 2012. Incidence rates increased with time and continued to rise in all ages. Mortality rates were clearly separated by age groups with increasing mortality rates by increasing age group for both sexes. Relative survival increased slowly over time in all age groups. The proportion of older male and female patients with stomach cancer increased to 50% and 54%, respectively, in 2012. Incidence rates decreased steadily with time, especially from 1980 to 1990 but continued to decrease in all age groups. Mortality rates decreased considerably from 1980 to 90 and have been almost constant during the last decade for both women and men. Relative survival increased modest over time in both genders and all age groups. In 2012, only 1471 persons were alive after a diagnosis of stomach cancer.
There is a need for clinical trials focusing on patients over the age of 70 years with co-existing comorbidity.